Social media, you really suck sometimes.
Trolls use you to spread mindless hate, bullies have a 24-hour platform to terrorise their victims and all we can do is 'block' and 'hide'. Sure, @ilovejustinbieberforever171819 is gone from our feed but that doesn't stop the individual behind that username starting a new anonymous account or recruiting their friends to jump on the bully bandwagon.
It's problematic. And it's taking away from all the good things you do, like connect us to people we sat next to one time in year seven maths class and viral dog videos. You know, the important stuff.
But I don't just want to 'delete' you from the Interwebs. In fact, my job kind of depends on your existence. So here's what I propose: A social media licence.
Kids under the age of 16 aren't legally allowed to drive. Even then, they have to pass a series of tests before they can operate a vehicle on the road by themselves. So how about we apply the same principles to you, since the effects can be just as harmful?
A drunk tweeter might not instantly wipe out an entire family, but look at how far trolls pushed Charlotte Dawson. Every three hours someone in Australia dies by suicide. It's a national emergency and we're giving anyone with an internet connection the power to bully one another 24 hours a day.
Don't let tweens set up an Instagram account without parental consent. Make them do the hard yards. Teach them the risks. Enforce some rules. I'm talking L-plates, supervision, tests and penalties -- the whole lot.
People can apply for their L-Plates when they turn sixteen. It would let teachers skip all the 'he bullied me on Facebook can you deal with it' nonsense and get back to teaching.
And imagine how good the test would be.
Is it ever okay to comment 'go hang yourself' on someone's status?
a) No. You don't know how your comment could impact the person on the other end.
b) Yes, I think it's perfectly reasonable. As an aside, I'm a knob.
Once they pass the test, learners would have to complete 120 hours of supervised tweeting -- with 20 hours of those performed when deliriously tired, during a sugar comedown and other angsty teen moments.
Adult learners who regularly drink would be required to complete a supervised tipsy test to avoid any drunk Facebook status disasters. Because we all know, someone.
P-Platers must stick to a tweet-limit. 5 posts per day. Any penalties will result in instant suspension of license.
Full License/Demerit Points:
Those with a full licence receive 12 demerit points.
Once they're gone, they simply disappear from social media. When they click on their Facebook app, they're met with a pop-up that simply reads: "Sorry, your social media licence has been suspended because you're a twat."
Don't tell me this isn't possible. We live in a time where we can face-swap with my remote control. The future is now.
Plus it means @ilovejustinbieberforever171819 would not only lose their power, they'd be forgotten by the other internet trolls who rally behind them. If that's not more important than face-swapping with inanimate objects, I don't know what is.
Trolls cop a $250 fine per awful comment. Narcissists lose a couple of demerit points for posting more than one selfie per day. Heck, we could even fine people for misusing your and you're. We'd be doing humanity a real service.
We'd have to think up special punishment for commenting 'KARDASHIANS NEED TO DIE', DMing Justin Bieber's new fling death threats and bombarding female journalists with rape jokes since they'd probably rank as the most common infringements. But I'm sure you'll think of something.
Anyway, just a suggestion. Feel free to Snapchat me a response. Preferably with the dog filter. I love the dog filter.Suggest a correction